From 1973 to 2001, the Parkstadion was the home stadium of FC Schalke 04. After it was renovated in the summer of 1998, it had a capacity of exactly 62,004 spectators (55,887 for internationals). It could hold 44,962 fans sitting down (49,737 for internationals), with space enough for 17,042 standing spectators (5,603 for internationals). The stadium was built in between the Erle, Buer and Schalke districts of Gelsenkirchen - in the immediate vicinity of where the VELTINS-Arena is now.
The first time that the idea was put forward to build a stadium on those grounds was at the beginning of the 1960s, but it would take until 1967 for the Gelsenkirchen council to give the all clear. A big reason for doing so was due to the state grants received ahead of the 1974 World Cup. The new stadium was inaugurated with a friendly against Feyernoord.
In the years that followed, a wide range of events took place at the stadium in addition to Schalke’s home games: from the 1974 World Cup,1988 European Championship and the German Athletic Championships, to various rock concerts and even a visit from the Pope, to name a few.
It became increasingly clear in the 1990s, however, that it was no longer up to the task of being an international football stadium any longer, despite its fairly young age. The low number of covered seats, a general lack of comfort and the large distance between the stands and the pitch meant that it could no longer keep up with international standards. As a result, the construction of what is now the VELTINS-Arena began in November 1998, and it has been the Royal Blues’ home stadium since August 2001.